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Mythras
by Lorenzo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2022 18:08:04

Moving first steps into Mythras - after years and years of AD&D, Pathfinder, D&D 5e - and I'm really excited! A set of rules that brings back roleplaying and the role of the master as storyteller, opposed to those rules-driven systems that turn an RPG into a boardgame where power-players can tell the master "no, you can't do that because..." I'm also intrigued by the bronze-age setting, as well Mythic Babylon and Mythic Rome ones. It seems to me that there are few ready adventures and campaigns but this is another motivation to write stories for my players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythras
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Hessaret's Treasure
by Jakob S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2022 17:08:45

I've been meaning to review this Mythras scenario since I ran I more than a year ago, but somehow, I'm only now getting around to it ... full disclosure: I'm working on a few small, Mythras-related projects with its author Matt Eager, but that's actually only because I've reached out to him after reading and playing the scenario.

I'm not going into details here, but still,

SPOILERS AHEAD

Hessaret's Treasure bills itself a fantasy spaghetti western, but since I'm not that studied in that genre, that didn't tell me much. The core idea is that the characters have to navigate two factions of shady NPCs who both hate and need each other to hunt for the eponymous treasure. As such, I would call the adventure story-focused, not in terms of being a railroad, but in the literal sense of it being focused on the dramatic story elements it brings to the table - the goals of and relationships between the NPCs, how they might interact with the goals of the PCs, and how they might form relationships with them. Both sides need the PCs as go-betweens to keep the other side from just trying to kill them off.

That's the core of it; and consequently, while running the scenario, I mostly referenced the extensive NPC descriptions in the back - that's where the meat of it is. You get four major players here, two on each side, and they're all multi-layered, with strong passions about their friends and foes. I found it easy to find their proper voices in play, because the ground-work laid by the text is rock-solid. The characters could believably side with any or none of them - my players gravitated towards each one of them in turn over the course of the adventure, only to doubt later whether their trust was misplaced.

Don't let yourself be fooled by the adventure being structured in scenes: Especially in the beginning, Hessaret's Treausure reads like it very much wants the characters to follow a particular order of events with a pre-determined outcome. Partly this is to get them into the tight spot between the two rivaling factions - but there's plenty of other possibilities for this to come about, and frankly, even if this central conceit doesn't work out as planned - like the characters getting what they need to go treausure-hunting on their own, or the characters clearly siding with one faction -, the adventure offers all the material you need to just keep playing. Part of Hessaret's Treasure might look like a railroad, but the material is really so encompassing and well-organzied, and it all makes so much sense - which is not at all a given in story-focused scenarios, where twists and turns are often deployed quite unmotivated and at the whim of the author - that, at no point, it would be a problem to go off the rails.

That being said, the central conceit is pretty cool, and it is well worth the effort to get your players to buy into it. As a GM, you'll have to be ready for some intense PC/NPC interaction. With a larger group of PCs, I can imagine that it might be a bit overwhelming to keep track of that - luckily, I ran this scenario with just two other players, which, to me, seems like the ideal number for Hessaret's Treasure. It not only made for intense role-playing, it also meant that the PCs really had to play their cards well to keep both factions at bay, since they wouldn't have been able to overwhelm any side on their own, and maybe not even with the help of the other faction.

Right now, I'm gearing up to revive my Mythras campaign with a sequel to Hessaret's Treasure - Arkannad is still out there and wants revenge, and by now, he has had time to not only catch up with the PCs, but also to get some back-up ...

This is really a great scenario - it's also a good read, but I recommend reminding yourself once in a while that things might go very different then suggested. The whole set-up is full of possibilities that can easily be explored with the material presented.

5 treacherous scoundrels out of 5



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hessaret's Treasure
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Mythras
by Alex H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2022 12:00:27

This is my go-to RPG for running pretty much any game, in any genre. It has the granular detail I crave for low-magic dark worlds. It does have a quite a bit of crunchiness to it, and far from rules-light, but it's not very complicated once you get to know the difference between Opposed Rolls and Differential Rolls. The d100 system is intuitive and easy to understand when comparing to other systems that use arbitrary roll bonuses/values. Percentages are much easier to wrap your head around if you're a new player.

Excellent game, incredible support and lore books, and great company overall. You should buy this immediately.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythras
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A Bird in the Hand
by Floris V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2021 10:37:15

I bought this mainly to read the hexcrawling rules, haven't used them yet, but they seem fun to use.

Would've preferred if they were included in some settingless rulebook like the companion.

I've read through some parts of the adventure and it seems pretty good, although I currently have no interest in running it or anything monster island.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Bird in the Hand
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Mythic Babylon
by Ian G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2021 03:59:54

Mythic Babylon is a fantastic product.

I love that period of history and I was lucky enough to play-test the game with Paul Mitchener and could tell it was something special. My softback copy of the book has arrived and it is a thing of beauty.

The book is sizable without being unwieldy, the writing is crystal clear and really flows, and I adore the B&W illustrations (they are excquisite).

The product itself is a really in-depth (not overwhelming!) treatment of the most well-known slice of Babylonian history while imagining that the myths and mythology of the time are true too. That means the reader / GM / referee gets an immersive and full introduction to a fascinating setting - this is bronze age gaming at the very birth of cities and civilisation - neither coins or horses (jest) have been invented yet! The material is presented in a way that allows GMs to layer in how much authenticity they want - from a general vibe thru to the very intricacies of temple life - so groups will be able to dive as deep as they want in to what is a real but also deliciously alien way of life.

They game's default mode to play is going to provide for some very unique sessions and also some fantastic fantasy roleplaying opportunities. Skim off the mythology and you have a brilliant historical Swords & Sandals setting. Inject the mythos (as it is v compatible with CoC) and you have a really amazing dark swords & sorcery game.

All the Mythic Settings are fantastic, but I think this one really is the best of them all.

Mythic Babylon is peak historical fantasy gaming. I would heartily recomend everyone purchase - whether you want a great one shot / campaign, a fab and interesting read, or inspiration for any fantasy game of your choice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Babylon
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Mythic Babylon
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2021 13:11:25

This is another excellent book from the Design Mechanism. Great layout, well-organized, and fantastic content. DM is becoming the new GURPS of settings books: if you have any interest in the topic, you should pick it up regardless of system. It's a high quality book with great research.

One thing that I particularly like about Mythic Babylon, is that while there's a lot of familiarity, there are also plenty of cultural differences that make the setting different and exciting. Priests, for example, are just career employees who's job is to keep the gods satisfied. They're not necessarily zealots, evangelists, or even fans. They're just doing their job. Another example: horses haven't been domesticated yet, and there's difference of opinion about whether kings should be driven in chariots (pulled by donkey or donkey hybrids) or follow the classy, traditional, conservative option and ride a donkey.

If you're a Mythras fan, there's information about cults, stats for monsters (a fair number of which are new to me), and suggested tweaks for the magic system and new combat styles.

Whether you're interested in Babylon, the Bronze Age, or just want to mine for ideas, this is a truly great source book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Casting the Runes: Occult Investigation in the World of M. R. James
by Mike C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2021 10:21:10

This review is for the PDF and the printed version. Both versions of the gamebook are designed to be easy to read and are well-organized: either will serve as usable quick reference during game or game development. PDF downloaded immediately with no issue. Printed book arrived roughly 10 days after purchase.

The game itself is a must for anyone who is interested in narrative focused horror in a historic setting. Often, the trade off with narrative games is less robust game mechanics. I’m happy to report this RPG has found a happy medium between crunch and character. Casting the Runes uses the Gumshoe system made famous by Trail of Cthulhu. The designers have stripped-down Gumshoe here and there to fit the style of their game, while staying true to what makes Gumshoe so clever. The Sanity system is given an interesting tweak, and the monsters are not HPL Mythos based, but rather rooted in Gothic horror traditions. Magic in Casting the Runes remains dangerous and exciting. While having played in Gumshoe before helps one pick up the rules, it is by no means necessary. You can jump in without prior experience. The only mild critique I offer comes during the rules and character creation chapters. I would have liked more examples to help clarify rolls and character builds. This is just a personal preference, as this type of reinforcement has always helped me to make sense of things.

Don’t worry about having to be familiar with the source material, either. I wasn’t at first (I have since bought a collection of M.R. James stories because of this RPG, however). The writers do a fantastic job of bringing the GM up to speed on James and his style. Adventures are crafted in the Edwardian period (1901-1910) in which James set his supernatural tales. Casting the Rune really excels as a sourcebook here. It provides a treasure trove of information on this historical setting. In fact, I would recommend anyone planning on adventuring during this time period, no matter the system, to purchase this book for reference. The chapter “The Period” runs about 20 pages, but information on Edwardian society is peppered appropriately throughout every section of the book, to help provide an immersive feel.

In all, a fantastic game, and one I hope to soon unleash upon my unsuspecting players! But why take my word for it when you can have the word of one the world's most decorated authors of horror fiction? Ramsey Campbell has won four World Fantasy Awards, ten British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker awards, and the Horror Writers' Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. Campbell wrote the introduction to this RPG, and he says of this game: “Paul StJohn Mackintosh has developed this witty and erudite game whose dark playfulness is itself reminiscent of James. May it evoke nothing but pleasure!”



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Casting the Runes: Occult Investigation in the World of M. R. James
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Lyonesse: Fantasy Roleplaying Based on the Novels by Jack Vance
by Robert R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2021 23:29:56

Absolutely amazing work. I have never played a TTRPG before, but I am a diehard fan of the Lyonesse Trilogy and this product has inspired me to give it a try. This system does an incredible job capturing the sense of wonder, grit, and whimsy of Vance's world. The product itself is of excellent quality. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lyonesse: Fantasy Roleplaying Based on the Novels by Jack Vance
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your review Robert. This is wonderful especially as you're new to roleplaying games, and I really hope that you're enjoying your first foray into the hobby!
A Bird in the Hand
by Hannu K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2021 08:03:47

Bird in Hand is a must have scenario for Monster Island, the most useful sword and sorcery sandbox I have used in the past 40+ years of GM’ing (I have GM’d Monster Island since 2013). Monster Island setting and the scenario itself can be used almost anywhere and in many settings from sword & sorcery to pulp among others. In the Monster Island and in the scenario city people are humans and natives of the island are lizard people but that is easily changed to other kind of jungle dwelling natives. The scenario itself is easy to drop into any ongoing Monster Island campaign – adjusting or adding the hooks and NPCs accordingly. In my campaign it was sword and sorcery based setting, humans from the continent in the port city and headhunting human tribes in interior. We played with characters in mid level skills and long history of roleplaying.

The scenario starts in Grimsand – the only civilized town in Monster Island and the writing brings Grimsand to life. There are multiple interesting NPCs that you can interact with and get in trouble with. The actions your players can have an effect on the NPCs, plotlines on the scenario and also on your future in Grimsand. The first part of the scenario stays in the city and a session or two will be spent there with plenty of opportunities for roleplay, using variety of skills to figure out what is going on and dealing with the increasing number of forces interested in the maguffin. I liked that there were multiple options written out for the various paths players may take. As in great scenarios there are multiple paths thru the first part of the scenario. Eventually the party needs to brace themselves and head into the jungle for most likely a two or three session romp but it could be more. Monster Island interior is deadly so players better be prepared and they will be lost in the jungle if you push into the green interior without the right combination of skills and help. If you are quite lucky and resourceful you may be able to tackle the jungle part with one long session but I would not push it that way.

Hex crawl rules at the end of the scenario are pure gold – making the island itself an adversary that needs to be tackled. They will be used extensively in my ongoing campaign on Monster Island and would be useful also in other jungle or difficult terrain based campaigns.

This is a scenario that melds with the tone and the spirit of Monster Island. It is a worthy addition to Monster Island, Mythras and a great sword and sorcery scenario – and that is high praise indeed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Bird in the Hand
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A Bird in the Hand
by Susan F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/09/2021 09:48:29

I'm a big fan of the monster island setting and was so pleased when I heard about this scenario. A bird in the hand really lived up to my expectations! It manages to include enough detail for you to bring the NPCs and events of Port Grimsand to life whilst not being overly bloated or wordy.

I don't want to give too much away, but the book is almost two adventures in one - your lucky players will get to experience the hustle and bustle of Port Grimsand and it's colourful characters in the first half, before heading into the jungle for an expedition they will never forget.

Additionally the hex crawl rules make travel itself and eventful (and potentially hazardous!) undertaking, especially for the unprepared.

It also helps that the book is layed out in a really intuitive way with everything easily accessible whilst you're running, so you don't have to worry about memorising everything.

Would totally recommend!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythras
by Mike K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2021 16:20:42

Mythras is a great rule set for any fantasy campaign; fully supported by a host of products from the design mechanism. Modern, medieval, or ancient or fantastic, Mythras can handle any era well. Clearly Mythras is built to last.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythras
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A Bird in the Hand
by Leon P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2021 05:53:24

So up front I have to say I don't like writing reviews and I especially don't like to do so for adventures I haven't run. That said, I really want to run this adventure and definitely feel it should come recommended if you intend to play Mythras/Monster Island. I will try and stay spoiler free.

If you're not familiar with Monster Island you should think about becoming so, however a clever DM should be able to easily substitute the contents of this module and their own creativity as a substitute.

I was going to call this a little adventure but at 60 pages (inc. Covers) and chock a block full of events and info it feels anything but. Broken into three distinct chapters you cover quite a bit of the traditional adventure pillars, social/exploration/combat and there is plenty of opportunity for a variety of character builds to shine.

The story is interesting and fun with a plethora of NPC's to act as aid or foils as well a wonderful mix of exciting environments to explore and challenge the PC's. It's difficult to do it justice without spoilers so you'll just have to take my word...or buy it.

The individual chapters should offer many nights of enjoyment as the players are challenged in a variety of ways from a possible heist, trekking through a hostile jungle and some exciting exploration keeping all your bases covered. If you enjoy a good pulp action adventure you'll enjoy this.

Tonally I was reminded of such films as Doc Savage or Indiana Jones the environment is reminiscent of Kong Island meets Tortuga.

As a GM I was particularly impressed at the ease in which this adventure could be expanded and the advice given to help new GM's, a lot of guidance is given in each chapter to help with structuring that part of the adventure but it is 'guidance' not railroading. The section on Hex Crawls is certainly useful and one of many pieces that you could easily carry over to other games alongside NPC's, creatures and so forth.

The art is excellent, with some lovely story pieces and some simpler but useful, clean and well done map pieces. The cover is particulaly excellent and captures quite a bit of the feel for the adventure.

Hopefully my poor review hasn't put you off picking this adventure up, if like me you're a time poor GM then you'd be mad not to. The heavy lifting is done for you. If you're not time poor then the material here could add many nights of enjoyment to your existing game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Bird in the Hand
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Mythras
by Jeremy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2020 15:23:58

This is a great book, great rules, great RPG. Literally my only complaint is the small typeset makes the book difficult to read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythras
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Classic Fantasy - TDM500
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2020 10:32:02

For decades, Fantasy RPG's were dominated by... the game that shall not be named. This presented a problem for those of us who first tasted a fantasy game that was a little more... gritty... as in ACTUALLY gritty... not based on the setting, or on the... aviance... no... a game where your MIGHTY WARRIOR can literally be killed with a single assassin's blow. Where your MIGHTY WIZARD still fears a dagger in the spleen, and your MOST EXCELLENT HIGH HOLINESS CLERIC might get his throat cut by an unscrupulous rival.

Well, here is Classic Fantasy, translated to Rune... right, can't say that... to FRP. Same crunchy bits, same devious foes... but now, you hold in your hands the translation from the... game that shall not be named... to a more RQ... BRP... or Mythras.

You will never be SO high a level, that the dagger in the dark is not a threat... your Warriors, Wizards, Paladins, etc... will have to rely on their skills, their wits, and ultimately, their own abilities.

Like RQ... you have your backgrounds: Barbarian, Civilized, Nomadic and Primitive. If you choose another race (other than human), you will choose your Racial background. Half Orcs and Half Elves can choose either their Demi Human parent's background, or their Human parent's background.

Then choose your class. Keep in mind that this is an RQ/BRP system... so though the usual complexity of the magic system isn't here, you still must put points into the requisite skills to cast spells (for Magic Users: Arcane Casting and Arcane Knowledge, for Clerics: Channel and Piety). You'll recognize the classic classes from the 1st edition of the.... the game that shall not be named. But here is the difference... YOU define your character's skills, etc... based on what you select. If you choose a fighter, are you a Melee fighter, or more of a ranged fighter... are you a Fighting Cleric, or more of a Medic type? You are provided a standard set of skills, then you take your skill points and build from there.

Now... Rank. Rank is like level, the only difference is: Rank is defined in words, skill points, etc... the equivalent of a 1-4th level character is called a Fresh character... then comes Low Level, Mid Level, High Level and Epic... each with a range of "levels" per the old system.

Magic. All the classic spells are here. Those who can use Magic or Clerical Magic use Magic points to cast.

So... this is a translation from BRP to Classic RPG's.

If you've ever wanted to translate your classic high level character to a BRP type... this is your guide. All in all, a tremendous effort that really brings the OTHER game, to a BRP style game.

Oh... and don't mess with dragons... in Classic... they are fearsome creatures that will SERIOUSLY eat you for lunch...

This is Heroic Fantasy without the classic "damage sponging."



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Classic Fantasy - TDM500
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Casting the Runes Preview
by Erich G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2020 17:45:07

I also got the full pre-production pdf from the kickstarter in January, it is awesome!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Casting the Runes Preview
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